Reading the poem, the first time through it appears to be abusive. The imagery of “My Papas Waltz” can clearly be understood as a father waltzing with his son in the kitchen, tapping the beat too his son’s head, and his ear scraping his buckle against his child’s ear. The poem is playful when the poem says, “At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle” (Roethke lines 11-12). The lines can be interpreted as a dad whipping a kid with a belt, but that is not what the author intended
While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, background, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to reminisce upon a nostalgic memory from childhood of dancing or “waltzing” with his father. Many individuals believe that the poem is about an abusive relationship between the author and his father. Although this may seem true through certain aspects, the author intended for this poem to be a reflection upon a happy memory with his father. According to the author, Roethke meant for this poem to be a dedication to his father, who has passed away while the author was at a young age. Thus, Roethke achieves his purpose
Further, Roethke uses word diction to set the overall tone for this poem. The word “waltz” which is used frequently throughout the text means “to dance in triple time performed by a couple who as a pair turn rhythmically around and around as they progress around the dance floor.” If Roethke was undergoing abuse, the author would choose unfavorable words to describe encounters with his father. Instead, Roethke uses heartening words to get his message across; which is that he will cherish the memorable times he shared with his father. Another word easily misinterpreted is “romped” used in line five, which gives readers a negative connotation; but in truth means “ to play roughly and energetically” This proves that the author and his father were
Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” unfolds the seemingly frequent event of a young boy receiving a beating from his drunken father. The speaker of the poem is a young man, possibly in his early teenage years. This conclusion is based upon line 2, “Could make a small boy dizzy.” This line gives an indication that the main character of the poem has been involved in this type of tussle since he was a small child. There could also be a very strong connection between the author of the poem and the speaker. It is easy to sense that the author is portraying a very emotional experience he had as a young man.
This displays the fear that the author had for his father. When reflecting over the poem, John J. Mckenna stated, “The author replaced the rather benign ‘kept’ with ‘beat’ thus making the situation more ominous, more negative” Roethke’s father worked manual labor and had a strong physique. This means that he might’ve been too rough with his son at times, but not intentionally to hurt him. That is one of the reasons Roethke feared his father slightly. Another change Roethke made to the poem was the gender of the child.
For this I chose to analyze the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke. One can assume that the speaker is a young boy, or perhaps the poet reminiscing his youth. Upon first glance, the tone is humorous, and a picture is presented of a boy waltzing with his father. This scene is comical with the boy clinging on for dear life as his chuckling father spins him around. The father dances around in a haphazard manner, knocking over pans in the kitchen while the mother looks on unhappily.
Adversity can take us by surprise, but everyone at some point in life experiences it. The way our personal identity can be shaped is through our phases of adversity.The experiences of dealing with difficulties can shape the way we view life and the actions that will show our persona. When we persevere adversity and obstacles it shows our reputation and our true type of identity.In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare, illustrates the way Hamlet, as well as other characters, deal with adversity through the types of motives they are seeking. we see prince Hamlet feeling far from cheerful due to his father 's death and his unstable family. He shows his hardships and loss of identity throughout the story, but we see it in-depth during his mourning phase when he can 't seem to deal with anyone.He goes to the people that he feels close to, the ones he can trust, and his perspective on life and maturity grow throughout the story.
Robert Hayden a poet who uses the tragic world around him to write his version of the truth. The work that Hayden has published contains several different meanings, but in almost every poem there is a small reference to the conflict of humanity. He does not want to believe that human decency is dead, he wishes to see the good in the world, but it is difficult when history contradicts his beliefs. He writes the truth and tells the world what he thinks without ever stating it directly. Robert Hayden, a man of many words, struggles with the conflict between the evil and the tiny shred of human decency that society still contains throughout his works or poetry.
In the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, you see a child wanting a father’s love and care. The story opens up by talking about his father being a drunk. Although it does not directly say it, we can tell by the way the boy talks about his father, and his father’s actions. “The whiskey on your breath” (1) is the first line of the poem, which indicates someone talking about alcohol on someone’s breath. As the poem goes on you can start to pick up that it is getting told by a son.